OPEN LINES IV

"A Queer As Folk USA FanFic"

by Gaedhal

This is Chapter 45 in the "Queer Theories" series.

Go back to "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" , the previous chapter.

Featuring Brian Kinney, Michael Novotny, Lindsay Peterson, Justin Taylor.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: More calls between Los Angeles and Pittsburgh as Lindsay and Justin both prepared for trips. June 2002.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Mikey."

"Jesus fucking Christ! Let me sit down here before I fall over with fucking heart failure!"

"Something wrong, Mikey?"

"No -- wait. Yes. It might be that you haven't called me in -- let's see. Oh, that's it. You've NEVER called me the entire time you've been out in fucking California! So excuse me if I seem a little surprised."

"Always a scream, as usual, Mikey. So, what's up?"

"What's up? Is that ALL you can say?"

"What's down? I don't know what you want me to say, Michael?"

"Shit. Let me open a Diet Pepsi -- I need some fucking caffeine."

"That shit isn't good for you, you know."

"Jesus H. Christ on a Raft! Now I really know you've been in California too long! Is it true that Ron is a vegetarian? When are you going to join some health food cult, too?"

"Not any time in the near future, believe me."

"That's good. You know, I'm still pissed off that Ben got to see you and I didn't."

"I saw you, Mikey. At the loft...."

"Don't remind me!"

"At Woody's. At Papagano's. At the picnic...."

"But he got to see you alone. And talk to you."

"That was just an accident -- I dropped that film stuff from Ron at his office and we shot the breeze for a while. That was all."

"Still -- I'm fucking jealous!"

"I know. That's why I'm calling you -- to let you know that you are still Number One on my Hit Parade."

"You are a bitch, you know that?"

"Of course."

"And now you're going to see Ben AGAIN."

"See Ben? When?"

"He's going to that film festival in Hawaii next week. At Maui."

"ON Maui. It's a fucking island."

"Whatever. Ben's going there and Ron told him he'd see you guys there. He's introducing one of the films and giving a talk. He's hoping to meet Clint Eastwood -- he's getting the big award."

"I know. He's a nice guy. You'd think he was some macho bastard, but not at all. Not at all. But any guy who'd make 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" can't really be a homophobic prick."

"I wish the fuck I was going, too."

"Don't you trust me around Ben? Or is it Clint you are worried about?"

"I don't trust ANYONE around Ben -- I'm so fucking paranoid."

"Believe me, Mikey -- I have more than enough on my plate right now. I'll do my best to keep my hands off Ben the next time I see him."

"You do that. But... Ben told me something else, Brian. Something that had me kind of concerned. Actually, that scared the shit out of me, especially after you just left here and everything that happened here and...."

"What are you babbling on about now, Mikey?"

"Hawaii -- isn't that where they have those -- weddings?"

"What the fuck?"

"Gay weddings, Brian. Don't play dumb."

"I have to -- I'm talking to YOU, Mikey!"

"Come on, Brian! Ron told Ben that you guys were getting fucking MARRIED when you were in Maui. On Maui. Whatever! He asked him to come to the goddamn ceremony!"

"Don't panic. That's just Ron's idea of a sick joke. It's a running gag with him. Don't take it seriously."

"I don't think he would joke about something like that, Brian. Ben didn't think it was a joke. He's fucking concerned about it, too -- and about your sanity if you go through with it! Of course, I'm not concerned at all -- because IF you go through with it then I'll really know for certain that you've been kidnapped to a distant planet and replaced on Earth with a replicant that looks like you, talks like you, dresses like you, but ACTS just like Julia fucking Roberts!"

"Is that the plot of the comic book that you and Justin are writing?"

"No -- if it is it will be the LAST fucking episode!"

"Hey, Mikey -- that replicant? Does it fuck like me, too? Because I might be able to use it around here."

"Just keep it up, Brian. Keep it up. I bet Justin wouldn't find that so fucking funny!"

"No -- I imagine not. Listen, do you know if he got his passport stuff? I mean, did he apply and...."

"Yeah, Vic took him downtown yesterday and walked him through the whole thing. Just like you told him to."

"So, he told you all about it."

"Well, everything he knows. Which isn't very much. Leave the poor kid hanging, why don't you?"

"I wanted to make sure I had everything organized before I gave him any details. But he needs that passport in his hand before he can go anywhere, so that was priority one."

"So, you aren't simply planning to bring the lad along on your honeymoon?"

"Will you DROP that shit, Mikey! Christ! You're giving me a splitting headache! I told you -- it's just Ron's ghoulish sense of humor."

"That better be ALL it is."

"I swear to you, Mikey, when the happy day comes, you'll be the first to know. Who else would I want for my fucking Maid of Honor! Or are you a Matron by now?

"Brian!"

"Listen to me, Michael -- if I were lunatic enough even to consider something so ludicrously hetero, not to mention hypocritical AND bourgeois, then why would I be busting my ass out here making arrangements to take Justin with me to London? Huh? Explain that reasoning?"

"Well, call and tell HIM that, why don't you?"

"I will, if you give me a chance! I thought YOU wanted to talk to me and all we've done is fucking talk about Ben and Ron and Justin and even fucking Clint Eastwood! About everything but US!"

"Brian -- there is no US. And hasn't been an US for a long time, if ever. This is always what it's about -- everyone else. And pretending it's any other way is just a joke on both of us."

"Well, you know how it is."

"No, I don't, Brian. But I'm trying to understand. I wish you'd talked to me before you left town."

"I planned to, at Woody's that night, but then...."

"No, not last week, Brian. Before you left in December. Before you acted like the typical drama queen you are and blew everything wide open and changed everything and everybody! I wish you'd taken five minutes to explain it to me. To make me understand. Then, maybe, it wouldn't be so hard -- so impossible...."

"Shit, Mikey, you know that if I could explain what I'm feeling and why I'm doing what I do -- isn't that the final sign of the Apocalypse? The signal that The End is at hand?"

"NO! That would be your fucking wedding!"

"Here we go again!"

***

"Yes?"

"Lindz."

"Bri!"

"I'm just checking in that everything is a go for next week."

"You bet. I've been getting very excited thinking all about it."

"And Gus -- you won't have to worry about him out here. The pool is completely fenced and hedged off from the house and there's no way he can get into it. That and the fact that those two women will have their paws on him 24/7. The poor kid will never get a moment's peace. He'll be speaking Spanish before he gets out a full sentence in English."

"It puts my mind at ease to know they are so devoted to you and your son."

"It's the baby they are devoted to. Or the IDEA of the baby. Me -- I can go to hell as far as they're concerned."

"Don't over-dramatize."

"It's fucking true! I think Carmel and Maria are putting voodoo spells on me behind my back."

"Voodoo is from Haiti, Brian, not Mexico."

"Who cares! It's some kind of black magic that's been making me behave the way I've been acting these past few months. Thank God I was able to go home and clear my head for two weeks. I feel a lot more able to cope with things now."

"Bri, if you truly feel that way, I have to ask -- why are still out there?"

"Everybody has to be somewhere, Lindsay."

"Be serious -- please!"

"Serious bores the shit out of me."

"Maybe that's your whole problem, then, Bri. Maybe you NEED to be serious. To think seriously for a minute about your situation."

"Lindsay, don't try to turn me into a fucking dyke. You do enough 'serious' to cover mine, too."

"Brian, what am I going to do with you?"

"I'm sure you have plenty of plans, Lindsay. As usual. Which reminds me -- any news?"

"Well, I'm afraid...."

"Which means you are going to require my services -- again?"

"If you don't mind."

"How long is this going to take, Lindz?"

"It's not something you can predict. You know that."

"I know, but really. It was one thing to hand over a fucking cup, but this is getting to be above and beyond the call of duty, Lindsay. You realize that I won't be back in the Pitts again until -- fuck, I don't know when."

"Well, then, we'll have to try harder when I'm in L.A."

"Try harder? Jesus! Have you talked to Melanie about this yet? You said that you were going to -- so I know that she's on the same page as you about this thing."

"Well...."

"Lindsay! What are you going to tell her? You can't get away with the 'oops, the condom broke' story with Mel the way you did with me the first time."

"I'm sorry about that, Bri."

"Shit -- I didn't believe it at the time, anyway. But I can't say that I wasn't relieved when it turned out to be a false alarm... I mean, let's face it, Lindz...."

"I know...."

"Maybe that's why I felt that I, you know, owed you one. But TWO...."

"You won't regret it, really."

"Like I said, I just want to be certain that Melanie is with this whole thing. I don't want to open my front door a year from now and find a basket on my fucking doorstep."

"You are such a worrywort. Everything will be fine."

***

"Hello?"

"Hey."

"Brian? Is that YOU?"

"Who else?"

"I... I'm just surprised, that's all."

"You mean because I'm calling during daylight hours and not at 2:00 a.m. like a heavy breather?"

"Sort of. But I do like that heavy breathing thing, too."

"I always knew you were a pervert at heart. You'll make a splendid dirty old man some day."

"I hope so."

"So -- did you carry out your mission?"

"I sure did. Vic took me down to get the pictures taken first. And then we went to the passport office and I filled out all the forms and everything. I even had to take an oath."

"How long did they say it was going to take?"

"The woman said a couple of weeks. I should get it by the beginning of July. Maybe before."

"Call me when you get it."

"Call you? Are you sure?"

"Why not?"

"Well...."

"Don't worry about that shit anymore. I'm not."

"All right. I won't. Is everything -- okay? I mean -- how are you feeling?"

"What are you driving at, Mom?"

"I'm just trying to find out how the fuck you are! If you're feeling good. If you're eating. Sorry if that's pushy or dumb. But I'm interested."

"I know. I'm just pulling on your chain, Justin. I'm doing fine. Eating like a pig. I'll have to start putting extra time on the treadmill if I gain much more weight. The limeys will send me home for being too fucking fat! They want that pale, wasted look."

"Right. That will be the day, when you are too fat."

"I'm going to record those words to play back to you far in the future when my gut is hanging out over my pants."

"And I'll be right there to hear them, too."

"I don't fucking doubt it. I haven't been able to shake you off yet."

"Have you talked to Lindsay -- I mean about her trip out there?"

"Yeah. Everything is arranged."

"Is it... you know, okay for her to come out there?"

"Why wouldn't it be?"

"I mean, is there plenty of room for her and Gus?"

"This place has more rooms than a Holiday Inn. Plus the poolhouse. Or I could pitch a tent in the backyard for any unexpected guests."

"You never know who might show up."

"Right. We have so many visitors. Why the big interest in Lindsay's trip all of a sudden?"

"Nothing. I've just been over there watching Gus lately and she was talking about coming out there."

"You've been watching Gus? You aren't skipping your fucking classes are you?"

"Classes ended on Friday. And I only have two exams -- the rest are my studio projects. Remember that thing I was working on when you were here? The found art piece? With the CD's? My professor LOVES it. He's like an old hippie and when he heard the Dylan songs and saw the video images I'd put together he practically had an orgasm! He wants me to work on it some more and submit it for a gallery show in September."

"I'm glad someone found a use for those fucking CDs. Maybe you can introduce your hippie prof to Ron -- they might hit it off. But that gallery thing sounds like something good."

"It is. They don't usually take students, so even getting considered would be a big deal. If I get my piece IN the show, it will be a REAL big deal."

"This trip thing isn't going to fuck it up, is it? I mean, if you have to do more work...."

"No. It's basically finished. And I have until September to fine tune it."

"You realize that you might be gone a month?"

"A month? That's no problem at all. Really, it isn't."

"Because the point is not to screw around with your schedule, your education...."

"Will you stop! You sound worse than my mom! Listen, Brian....?"

"Yeah?"

"It is England that we are going to, right?"

"I thought you knew that."

"Well, I translated it from your usual non-statements and unhelpful hints, but it would nice to hear it actually pronounced as fact."

"Yes -- we are going to England. How's that?"

"Great. Better than great. It's nice to hear a straight-forward response for once."

"I'll try harder from now on. Well, I better get my ass in gear. I have a shitload of things to accomplish before Lindsay and Gus get here on Saturday. And Ron is leaving for some fucking film festival tomorrow in Hawaii. It will be nice to have the place to myself for a change. Now, if I could get rid of the hired help for four days it would be fucking paradise."

"Brian?"

"Now what?"

"I really miss you... I know, you don't have to say anything."

"Yeah, well... I'll be glad when I see you, too."

"Brian -- it will be soon. I mean, it will SEEM soon. You know what I mean."

"I think so, Justin."

Continue on to "Aloha", the next chapter.

©Gaedhal, July 2002

Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions.

Updated July 10, 2002